Friday, November 7, 2008


Ralph Nader Calls Obama "Uncle Tom"? By Fox News - Video And Transcript Fox News' Shepard Smith (a real dick!) distorts Nader's comments to paint him as a racist.


Nation Finally Shitty Enough To Make Social Progress November 5, 2008 | Issue 44•45 WASHINGTON—After emerging victorious from one of the most pivotal elections in history, president-elect Barack Obama will assume the role of commander in chief on Jan. 20, shattering a racial barrier the United States is, at long last, shitty enough to overcome. EXCERPT: "As we enter a new era of equality for all people, the election of Barack Obama will decidedly be a milestone in U.S. history, undeniable proof that Americans, when pushed to the very brink, are willing to look past outward appearances and judge a person by the quality of his character and strength of his record. So as long as that person is not a woman."


Thanks to CSPANJUNKIE FOR THE LINK The Pentagon’s alarming project: Avian Flu Biowar Vaccine by F. William Engdahl Global Research, August 14, 2008 There is alarming evidence accumulated by serious scientific sources that the US Government is about to or already has ‘weaponized’ Avian Flu. If the reports are accurate, this could unleash a new pandemic on the planet that could be more devastating than the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic which killed an estimated 30 million people worldwide before it eventually died out. Pentagon and NIH experiments with remains in frozen state of the 1918 virus are the height of scientific folly. Is the United States about to unleash a new racially selective pandemic through the process of mandatory vaccination with an alleged vaccine "against" Avian Flu? There is reason to believe that sections of the international pharmaceutical industry cartel are acting in concert with the US Government to develop a genetically modified H5N1 virus substance that could unleash a man-made pandemic, perhaps more deadly than the 1918 ‘Spanish Influenza’ pandemic claiming up to 30 million lives.1


Black Man Given Nation's Worst Job November 5, 2008 | Issue 44•45 WASHINGTON—African-American man Barack Obama, 47, was given the least-desirable job in the entire country Tuesday when he was elected president of the United States of America. In his new high-stress, low-reward position, Obama will be charged with such tasks as completely overhauling the nation's broken-down economy, repairing the crumbling infrastructure, and generally having to please more than 300 million Americans and cater to their every whim on a daily basis. As part of his duties, the black man will have to spend four to eight years cleaning up the messes other people left behind. The job comes with such intense scrutiny and so certain a guarantee of failure that only one other person even bothered applying for it. Said scholar and activist Mark L. Denton, "It just goes to show you that, in this country, a black man still can't catch a break."

Thursday, November 6, 2008



Gold is the only viable insurance. The US dollar is not viable insurance because there is simply too much of it and that amount is growing every day. That makes the US dollar untrustworthy. Gold is the only viable insurance. Clearly equities (with the exception of precious metals shares) are not. Gold is the only viable insurance. US Treasury bills are not because the yelling at all the rating agencies in Washington today just might get US credit downgraded. General commodities have been viable, but by nature they are too wild and from now on will be selective until Pakistan implodes and Weimar appears Banks cannot offer insurance as they are in the main bankrupt. Insurance companies cannot offer you sound insurance. Money market funds are not insurance, making gold the only viable insurance. Retirement programs are no longer insurance. Jobs are no longer insurance as companies are run by lawyers and accountants. Equity in your home is not insurance because it simply does not exist. Your family is no longer insurance because they have the same problems you do. The assumption your kids will take care of you in your old age is not viable insurance no matter what you think. Gold has no liability attached to it and is therefore the only viable insurance. Gold is universally exchangeable, making it the only viable insurance. Gold has historically performed perfectly in maintaining buying power, making it the only viable insurance. Gold is the only viable insurance because it is Honest Money. Since gold is the only viable insurance and because everyone needs it, gold will trade at levels of at least $1200 and $1650. I could go on but gold is all there is that will protect you from the White Wash being applied by the Fed and Treasury on a structure that is in fact in a free fall. I am not the least concerned about gold and believe you should not be either as long as you have no margin and understand what gold really is: a currency and an insurance policy. There is no other viable insurance in this most unusual situation.


We Will Watch Obama Like A Hawk Posted: November 5 2008 USA now the Obamanation, Illuminati and elites are always the real winners in elections, politicians ruled behind the scenes by the powerful, gold and silver futures have been suppressed, more economic bubbles coming, stock market losses to reduce global wealth by trillions

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


The Pentagon Is the President's Private Army by Fred Reed The Pentagon, methinks, is out of control. We no longer have a military in service to the state, but a state in service to the military. Few notice (I suspect) because of two ingrained habits of mind. First, we think of the President as just that, the President, the country’s civilian governor who, oh yeah, is technically the Commander-in-Chief. “Technically,” because he isn’t really in the military and doesn’t strut about in a uniform with ribbons and feathers. He seems more a CEO than a general. Second, we tend to think of the military as a federal department under civilian control. The Pentagon carries out policy, we believe, but doesn’t make it. Would it were so. The military today is hardly under civilian control. Note that Congress long ago gave up its power to declare war. This is crucial. Politically it is far safer to acquiesce in a war than to declare one. In practical terms, the checks and balances in the Constitution no longer restrain the Commander-in-Chief, and thus not the soldiery. (The Supreme Court has become a mausoleum. It might be replaced by a wax museum without anyone’s noticing.) The Pentagon is now the private army of any president who chooses so to use it. Our foreign policy has been militarized. This is not just a matter of countless alliances and bases abroad. A few days ago, the military attacked Syria. This, an act of war, was a result not of national but of military policy. So far as I know, the attack was neither ordered nor authorized by Congress. The soldiers do as they please, and we find out about it later. This is not civilian control. Such occurrences are inevitable when the military controls policy. Soldiers are truculent by nature, think quickly of military solutions, and need enemies to justify both their existence and their budget. Among recent consequences: attacking Syria, occupying Iraq and Afghanistan, bombing Pakistan, bombing Somalia, threatening Iran, threatening North Korea, encouraging Israel to bomb Beirut, arming Georgia, and aggressively expanding NATO to encircle Russia. Ominously, we now accept that the behavior of the armed forces is none of our business. Note the years of expectancy as we waited to see whether the Commander-in-Chief, a de facto six-star general, would attack Iran. I suspect that few realize how militarized the United States itself has become. The transformation has been inconspicuous. The Pentagon avoids undue attention. Quietly it has expanded its reach. Abolishing the draft was an important step, since it severed any connection between the upper levels of society and the armed forces. The educated don’t much care what the army does as long as they don’t have to help do it. The economy also has been militarized. Although the United States has no national enemies, it spends phenomenally on a martial empire whose only purpose is to be a martial empire. Add up the “defense” budget (it was last used for defense in 1945), the war bills, black programs, Veterans Administration’s budget, on and on, and you reach a trillion dollars a year. A country in decline cannot long waste so much money. Perhaps as important, the military cannot spend so much without gaining great if unnoticed political power. In particular, the production of hugely pricey weapons has been woven into the economy to such an extent that it cannot be brought under control. Cancel the F22, the JSF, and suchlike, and the economies of politically powerful states go into recession. None dare do it. Close big bases? Whole towns would shut down. The country has no need of such a military, and especially not of the formidably costly weapons. Having no plausible enemy of any sophistication, the Pentagon exercises itself by attacking primitive nations in the Third World, and usually losing. For this you do not need an F22. You could lose as well with slingshots. The spectacle of an alleged superpower struggling to beat yet another collection of ragtag guerrillas may seem darkly comical, but winning or losing isn’t the point; the endless wars keep the contracts flowing, the promotions coming, and fuel demands for a larger army. We would do well to bear in mind the dangers of excessive military influence in national life. Professional soldiers have little in common with the rest of the country. We like to think of them as Our Boys in Uniform, the brave and the true and the patriotic, defenders of democracy, and so on. It isn’t so. The officer corps is authoritarian to the roots of its soul, has little use for democracy, and prides itself on blind obedience. Soldiers do not readily distinguish between dissent and treason. Further, they regard civil society as an unworkable anarchy of weaklings who lack the will to fight. The gap between military and civilian consciousness is huge. The ideal officer goes to a service academy where, in late and impressionable adolescence, he learns to walk in squares, always obey, and regard the polish of his belt buckle with insane concern. Thereafter the only answer he knows is “Yessir.” To a civilian, the conformism, the lack of independence and, yes, the pride in the lack are incomprehensible. Then, for thirty years, the soldier spends most of his time with similar people and comes to believe that it is not just a reasonable but the best way to live. Like cops, soldiers tend to socialize among themselves because they fit awkwardly into civil society. Watch a colonel at a civilian cocktail party. He isn’t sure whether he is “Sir” or “Bob.” And soldiers seek war. They will say they don’t, of course. Can you imagine Tiger Woods spending thirty years practicing his golf swing without wanting to get into a tournament? The military mindset is not American, not consonant with the ideals the country stands for and to some extent achieves. Most imperfectly, yet genuinely, America has cherished dissent and eccentricity and freedom. Yes, I know about the intolerance of small towns and I grew up in the South. But compare America at its worst to any military dictatorship. Which is where we seem to be heading. Today the Pentagon – again, Mr. Bush is the Pentagon – openly seeks domestic power. For example, (this from Salon) Army combat troops will now be “assigned on a permanent basis to engage in numerous domestic functions” – including, as the article put it, “to help with civil unrest and crowd control.” That is, the Pentagon will be able to crush dissent. One expects this from Guatemala, which we seem bent on becoming. Recall further that the Pentagon has been calling for the power to conduct domestic surveillance of the general population, as for example in its program of Total Information Awareness. The NSA, CIA, the Commander in Chief are all military or paramilitary, and Homeland Security is very much in the vein of military dictatorships everywhere. The new rights of the FBI to spy on everything from library records to habits of travel fit the pattern well. The FBI is not military but its behavior is authorized by the Commander-in-Chief. The lines are blurring. We are going to pay for this.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Silence on War Crimes By Andy Worthington I can only note that it's a sad indictment of a country's state of mind when the ruling administration has been devoted to dictatorial powers and war crimes, but an election campaign comes and goes as though it had never happened.


Anything Bob Chapman writes, that you don't understand, PLEASE Google the terms. This is one that is critical for you to understand. Log on to this URL and read EVERYTHING and EVERY LINK in it. GT... Federal funds rate From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia In the United States, the federal funds rate is the interest rate at which private depository institutions (mostly banks) lend balances (federal funds) at the Federal Reserve to other depository institutions, usually overnight.[1] Changing the target rate is one form of open market operations that the Chairman of the Federal Reserve uses to regulate the supply of money in the U.S. economy.[2] Contents [hide] * 1 Mechanism * 2 Applications * 3 Comparison with LIBOR * 4 Predictions by the market * 5 Historical rates * 6 Impact of federal funds rate cuts * 7 See also * 8 References * 9 External links [edit] Mechanism U.S. banks and thrift institutions are obligated by law to maintain certain levels of reserves, either as non-interest-bearing reserves with the Fed or as vault cash. The level of these reserves is determined by the outstanding assets and liabilities of each depository institution, as well as by the Fed itself, but is typically 10%[1] of the total value of the bank's demand accounts (depending on bank size). For example, assume a particular U.S. depository institution, in the normal course of business, issues a loan. This dispenses money and reduces the bank's reserves. If its reserve level falls below the legally required minimum, it must add to its reserves to remain compliant with Federal Reserve regulations. The bank can borrow the requisite funds from another bank that has a surplus in its account with the Fed. The interest rate that the borrowing bank pays to the lending bank to borrow the funds is negotiated between the two banks, and the weighted average of this rate across all such transactions is the federal funds effective rate. The nominal rate is a target set by the governors of the Federal Reserve, which they enforce primarily by open market operations. That nominal rate is almost always meant by the media referring to the Federal Reserve "changing interest rates". The actual Fed funds rate generally lies within a range of that target rate, as the Federal Reserve cannot set an exact value through open market operations. Another way banks can borrow funds to keep up their required reserves is by taking a loan from the Federal Reserve itself at the discount window. These loans are subject to audit by the Fed, and the discount rate is usually higher than the federal funds rate. Confusion between these two kinds of loans often leads to confusion between the federal funds rate and the discount rate. Another difference is that while the Fed cannot set an exact federal funds rate, it can set a specific discount rate. The federal funds rate target is decided by the governors at Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meetings. The FOMC members will either increase, decrease, or leave the rate unchanged depending on the meeting's agenda and the economic conditions of the U.S. It is possible to infer the market expectations of the FOMC decisions at future meetings from the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) Fed Funds futures contracts, and these probabilities are widely reported in the financial media. [edit] Applications Interbank borrowing is essentially a way for banks to quickly raise capital. For example, a bank may want to finance a major industrial effort but not have the time to wait for deposits or interest (on loan payments) to come in. In such cases the bank will quickly raise this amount from other banks at an interest rate equal to or higher than the Federal funds rate. Raising the Federal funds rate will dissuade banks from taking out such inter-bank loans, which in turn will make cash that much harder to procure. Conversely, dropping the interest rates will encourage banks to borrow money and therefore invest more freely.[3] Thus this interest rate acts as a regulatory tool to control how freely the US economy, and by consequence - as there exists a certain interdependence - world economy, operates. By setting a higher discount rate the Federal Bank discourages banks from requisitioning funds from the Federal Bank, yet positions itself as a source of last resort. [edit] Comparison with LIBOR Though the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and the federal funds rate are concerned with the same action, i.e. interbank loans, they are distinct from one another, as following: * The federal funds rate is a target interest rate that is fixed by the FOMC for implementing U.S. monetary policies. * The federal funds rate is achieved through open market operations at the Domestic Trading Desk at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York which deals primarily in domestic securities (U.S. Treasury and federal agencies' securities).[4] * LIBOR is calculated from prevailing interest rates between highly credit-worthy institutions. * LIBOR may or may not be used to derive business terms. It is not fixed beforehand and is not meant to have macroeconomic ramifications.[5] GT sez: There is lots more, so go to the URL and read it all. It's not that hard to understand.


THE DAILY RECKONING The Consumer Collapse London, England Tuesday, November 4, 2008 EXCERPT: ...But one scam gives way to another. During the Great Moderation we were assured that our financial authorities had found the magic formula; henceforth, enlightened economic management, along with sophisticated, risk-dispersing financial instruments, would practically eliminate recessions and crashes. There was no need to save for a rainy day, we were assured; because it would never rain! But now we have a downpour...with markets crashing and the world facing its biggest slump ever. And now we are told that markets have failed. Now, we need Barney Frank, Ben Bernanke and Hank Paulson to run our financial system. Wait a minute...we don’t recall Ben Bernanke warning that the world faced a meltdown when he took over at the Fed in Feb. 2006. And wasn’t Barney Frank the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee even as Wall Street was running amok, inflating the biggest asset bubble in history? We don’t remember him holding hearings about the dangers it presented until after the thing blew up. And wasn’t Hank Paulsone the head of one of Wall Street’s most go-go, derivative saturated, billion-dollar-bonus-driven firms while all of this was going on? Well, never mind... But now we are supposed to believe that markets don’t work...and that these well-meaning public servants are going to save us from the evils capitalism...and that bureaucrats will be able to fix prices and allocate capital better than Mr. Market. Deception gives way to hallucination...correction is followed by depression... *** “Whoever wins the US Presidential election, America is in big trouble,” writes Ben Traynor at Contrarian Profits. “It will be hard to resist calls to whack up tariff barriers, and protect domestic jobs from foreign competition. A weakening dollar may help US exports a bit...but the US is in a bind. “If the dollar falls too much, foreign dollar holders (eg China and the oil-rich Gulf nations) will start dumping it. The US does well out of being the world’s reserve currency. Such a move would threaten that. “So what will the US do? It could pursue a strong dollar policy... But that would hit exporters, and hit jobs. So, in response, some bright spark will start banging the drum for protectionism. “You see, those foreign dollar holders can see the currency’s fundamentals are weak. They’re sitting on all this money whose value is in the hands of a monetary authority (the Fed) and a government whose sole concern right now is fighting the downturn. The Fed has slashed rates, and there’s a strong chance the printing presses will soon go into overdrive. “So why are foreign dollar holders playing ball? Because, as things stand, it’s still in their interests to do so. Why would they want to antagonise a nation they do so much business with? Why would they impoverish their best customers? “But throw protectionism into the equation, and the incentives change. This is particularly true in the case of goods exporters like China. Overnight, the US market is less important to them. “Now, will this be enough to tip the balance? Will it reduce their incentive to co-operate enough so that they take their ball back and stop playing? Hard to say... but I think we’re going to find out.” *** It could be that America no longer needs Smoot and Hawley. China’s sales to the United States are falling, simply because Americans no longer have the money to buy them. The Middle Kingdom has no choice, it has to shift production towards its own domestic market. One way or another, U.S. sales will become less important and China will have less of an interest in financing U.S. consumption and less interest in supporting the US dollar.


Now The Worst Financial Crisis Since The Great Depression Posted: November 1 2008 Rampant market manipulation, retirement dreams destroyed by market chaos, a war waged with money, expect more bailout money for the wealthy players, formula for the superwealthy, a new low interest rate, new liquidity is designed to flood the world economy, Volvo slammed by market changes, oceans emptying of marine traffic, airfreight traffic declines "We'll give you three good reasons why gold is not performing as it should under the current circumstances: First reason: manipulation. Second reason: rampant manipulation. Third Reason: incessant, nonstop, unabated, fiendish manipulation." GT sez: Got your attention?


Nowhere Man A Farewell to Dubya, All-Time Loser in Presidential History By Simon Schama November 3, 2008 "The Guardian" --- "Forgotten but not gone" was the way in which the supremo of Boston politics, Billy Bulger, liked to dismiss the human irritants he had crushed beneath his trim boot. The same could now be said for the hapless 43rd President of the United States as the daylight draws mercifully in on his reign of misfortune and calamity. How is he bearing up, one wonders, as the candidate from his own party treats him as the carrier of some sort of infectious political disease? How telling was it that the most impassioned moment in John McCain's performance in the final debate was when he declared: "I am not George Bush." Where, O where are you, Dubya, as the action passes you by like a jet skirting dirty weather? Are you roaming the lonely corridors of the White House in search of a friendly shoulder around which to clap your affable arm? Are you sweating it out on the treadmill, hurt and confused as to why the man everyone wanted to have a beer (or Coke) with, who swept to re-election four years ago, has been downgraded to all-time loser in presidential history, stuck there in the bush leagues along with the likes of James Buchanan and Warren Harding? Or are you whacking brush in Crawford, where the locals now make a point of telling visitors that George W never really was from hereabouts anyroad. Whatever else his legacy, the man who called himself "the decider" has left some gripping history. The last eight years have been so rich in epic imperial hubris that it would take a reborn Gibbon to do justice to the fall. It should be said right away that amid the landscape of smoking craters there are one or two sprigs of decency that have been planted: record amounts of financial help given to Aids-blighted countries of Africa; immigration reform that would have offered an amnesty to illegals and given them a secure path to citizenship, had not those efforts hit the reef of intransigence in Bush's own party. And no one can argue with the fact that since 9/11 the United States has not been attacked on its home territory by jihadi terrorists; though whether or not that security is more illusory than real is, to put it mildly, open to debate. Bet against that there is the matter of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilian casualties, more than 4,000 American troops dead, many times that gravely injured, not to mention the puncture wounds and mutilations inflicted on internationally agreed standards of humane conduct for prisoners - and on the protection of domestic liberties enshrined in the American constitution. If the Statue of Liberty were alive, she would be weeping tears of blood. If Bush himself has been largely kept out of sight, his baleful legacy has been visible in the McCain campaign. McCain has made much of his credentials for independence of mind, a claim which once was credible given his support for immigration reform and opposition to Bush's tax cuts. But somewhere along the road to the Republican nomination, all of this became less important than the lessons of the Reagan-Bush-Rove political playbook which, with the exception of the Clinton election of 1992, seemed to have a track record of unbroken success. McCain knew this from bitter personal experience, having been on the receiving end of Bush lowball politics in the South Carolina primary in 2000. Coming out of a convincing win against George Bush in New Hampshire he was stopped in his tracks by a smear campaign conducted through push-poll phone calls in which people were asked whether they knew that the daughter McCain had adopted from Sri Lanka was in fact the illegitimate child of an affair with a woman of colour. Now you would think McCain could never reconcile himself to a politician capable of those kinds of tactics. But there he was in the campaign of 2004, stumping the country for the incumbent, ingratiating himself with the conservative base he knew he would need, even as his old Vietnam buddy, John Kerry, was being coated in slime by the Swift Boaters. Whatever misgivings McCain might have had about adopting the hardball tactics of his 2000 adversary have long since disappeared before the blandishments of classic Bush-style operatives like Rick Davis and Stephen Schmidt. "Do you want to be pure, or do you want to win"? they must have asked right after the nomination. Ditching Joe Lieberman as a running mate and unleashing pitbull Palin was his answer. So even while George Bush is kept at arm's length from the campaign, his campaign style lives on as Obama is stigmatised as a terrorist-friendly stealth-socialist, too deeply unAmerican to be let anywhere near the Oval Office. "He just doesn't see America as we do" says Sarah Palin trying to wink her way into Dick Cheney's seat. McCain is betting the house that this way of doing politics has at least one more hurrah left in it, and we will find out on in the early hours of Wednesday morning whether he is right. The Bush presidency is the spectre haunting the feast in more than tactics. Although every conservative administration since Ronald Reagan has promised to deliver, through supply-side stimulation, economic growth without bloated deficits, they have never been vindicated in their blind faith in what Bush senior once rashly called "voodoo economics". Consistently, they have brought the US Wall Street crashes and recessions along with massive deficits; and yet somehow, the stake that history attempts to drive through the heart of their economic theology never puts the ghoul away. No weight of evidence to the contrary has ever shaken the totemic belief that tax cuts can grow the economy robustly enough to compensate for drastic shortfalls in revenue. George W Bush clung to this belief even as the Clinton budget surplus was converted into a mountainous deficit, and John McCain continues to parrot the same belief with the shining face of a true believer. Not even Gibbon could supply a story as fatefully bizarre as the ultimate consummation of Reagan-Bush conservatism, its last act: the most massive shift of financial power from the private to the public sector since the New Deal. Rather like the Pope deciding that all along he really wanted a barmitzvah. If you look at this saga as the history of a dynasty; it's come full circle. For, believe it or not, there once was a time when Bush politics was about centrist moderation. Dubya's revered granddad, Prescott Sheldon Bush, son of an Ohio railroad executive and senator for Connecticut from 1952 to 1963, was punished in the Catholic towns of industrial Connecticut for his connection with Planned Parenthood. Not only that, but he was a trustee of the United Negro College Fund, the kind of institution that made the eventual career of Barack Obama conceivable. But the Bushes have always been selective about idealism. And even at the height of the Kennedy-Johnson apogee, Prescott and George Herbert Walker Bush were turning the pages of Barry Goldwater's Conscience of a Conservative. They could smell the wind direction changing. The future of Republican money and Republican power lay elsewhere; with Texas oil. Hence the migration to Midland Texas of George Herbert Walker Bush and his makeover into a Texan who knew the ways of the corporate world; and how to bring about the Great Cosiness between government and business that seemed like the perfect feedback loop: money to power, power to money; tax breaks for the corporations; donations to those who might command the heights. This is the politics George W Bush inherited, and he has been its faithful disciple; to the point of purging it of any remaining traces of pragmatism. It is astounding to hear rightwing talkshow bloviators rant about the predicament of the Bush administration being caused by its failure to carry out the true conservative agenda. For there never has been and never will be a more doctrinally faithful instrument of the creed. Never mind the hanging chads of 2000, the Cheney-Bush administration seized the moment to bring on the Goldwater-Reagan Rapture in which government was once and for all got out of the way of business. So it hasn't really been all George Bush's fault, the stupendous American fiasco. He came to power armed with an ideology that was about to crash and burn; that was, years before the present tumult, already fatally disconnected from historical reality. It was on his watch that American government needed reinventing. It was responsible government that was needed in Iraq and Afghanistan; government that was desperately needed in New Orleans after Katrina, while all George Bush could manage was a fly-by. It is government that this most anti-governmental of all American administrations is learning that is needed now to save the United States from a second Depression. In his heart of hearts I actually think the shell-shocked Dubya, somewhere in the bowels of his presidency knows this. But he is nowhere to be found, and so on goes the mad rant that health care reform and progressive taxes are the Trojan horse for socialist revolution. To which those who have another view altogether might want to say, fear not, for yours, as a Republican president once said, is a government of the people, by the people. And really it will not perish from the earth. Audio link: Simon Schama: 'The deciding was very much done by Dick Cheney' Simon Schama is professor of history and art history at Columbia University, New York. © Guardian News and Media Limited 2008


An Open Letter to Barack Obama Between Hope and Reality By Ralph Nader Dear Senator Obama: In your nearly two-year presidential campaign, the words "hope and change," "change and hope" have been your trademark declarations. Yet there is an asymmetry between those objectives and your political character that succumbs to contrary centers of power that want not "hope and change" but the continuation of the power-entrenched status quo. Far more than Senator McCain, you have received enormous, unprecedented contributions from corporate interests, Wall Street interests and, most interestingly, big corporate law firm attorneys. Never before has a Democratic nominee for President achieved this supremacy over his Republican counterpart. Why, apart from your unconditional vote for the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, are these large corporate interests investing so much in Senator Obama? Could it be that in your state Senate record, your U.S. Senate record and your presidential campaign record (favoring nuclear power, coal plants, offshore oil drilling, corporate subsidies including the 1872 Mining Act and avoiding any comprehensive program to crack down on the corporate crime wave and the bloated, wasteful military budget, for example) you have shown that you are their man? To advance change and hope, the presidential persona requires character, courage, integrity-- not expediency, accommodation and short-range opportunism. Take, for example, your transformation from an articulate defender of Palestinian rights in Chicago before your run for the U.S. Senate to an acolyte, a dittoman for the hard-line AIPAC lobby, which bolsters the militaristic oppression, occupation, blockage, colonization and land-water seizures over the years of the Palestinian peoples and their shrunken territories in the West Bank and Gaza. Eric Alterman summarized numerous polls in a December 2007 issue of The Nation magazine showing that AIPAC policies are opposed by a majority of Jewish-Americans. You know quite well that only when the U.S. Government supports the Israeli and Palestinian peace movements, that years ago worked out a detailed two-state solution (which is supported by a majority of Israelis and Palestinians), will there be a chance for a peaceful resolution of this 60-year plus conflict. Yet you align yourself with the hard-liners, so much so that in your infamous, demeaning speech to the AIPAC convention right after you gained the nomination of the Democratic Party, you supported an "undivided Jerusalem," and opposed negotiations with Hamas-- the elected government in Gaza. Once again, you ignored the will of the Israeli people who, in a March 1, 2008 poll by the respected newspaper Haaretz, showed that 64% of Israelis favored "direct negotiations with Hamas." Siding with the AIPAC hard-liners is what one of the many leading Palestinians advocating dialogue and peace with the Israeli people was describing when he wrote "Anti-semitism today is the persecution of Palestinian society by the Israeli state." During your visit to Israel this summer, you scheduled a mere 45 minutes of your time for Palestinians with no news conference, and no visit to Palestinian refugee camps that would have focused the media on the brutalization of the Palestinians. Your trip supported the illegal, cruel blockade of Gaza in defiance of international law and the United Nations charter. You focused on southern Israeli casualties which during the past year have totaled one civilian casualty to every 400 Palestinian casualties on the Gaza side. Instead of a statesmanship that decried all violence and its replacement with acceptance of the Arab League's 2002 proposal to permit a viable Palestinian state within the 1967 borders in return for full economic and diplomatic relations between Arab countries and Israel, you played the role of a cheap politician, leaving the area and Palestinians with the feeling of much shock and little awe. David Levy, a former Israeli peace negotiator, described your trip succinctly: "There was almost a willful display of indifference to the fact that there are two narratives here. This could serve him well as a candidate, but not as a President." Palestinian American commentator, Ali Abunimah, noted that Obama did not utter a single criticism of Israel, "of its relentless settlement and wall construction, of the closures that make life unlivable for millions of Palestinians. ...Even the Bush administration recently criticized Israeli's use of cluster bombs against Lebanese civilians [see for elaboration]. But Obama defended Israeli's assault on Lebanon as an exercise of its 'legitimate right to defend itself.'" In numerous columns Gideon Levy, writing in Haaretz, strongly criticized the Israeli government's assault on civilians in Gaza, including attacks on "the heart of a crowded refugee camp... with horrible bloodshed" in early 2008. Israeli writer and peace advocate-- Uri Avnery-- described Obama's appearance before AIPAC as one that "broke all records for obsequiousness and fawning, adding that Obama "is prepared to sacrifice the most basic American interests. After all, the US has a vital interest in achieving an Israeli-Palestinian peace that will allow it to find ways to the hearts of the Arab masses from Iraq to Morocco. Obama has harmed his image in the Muslim world and mortgaged his future-- if and when he is elected president.," he said, adding, "Of one thing I am certain: Obama's declarations at the AIPAC conference are very, very bad for peace. And what is bad for peace is bad for Israel, bad for the world and bad for the Palestinian people." A further illustration of your deficiency of character is the way you turned your back on the Muslim-Americans in this country. You refused to send surrogates to speak to voters at their events. Having visited numerous churches and synagogues, you refused to visit a single Mosque in America. Even George W. Bush visited the Grand Mosque in Washington D.C. after 9/11 to express proper sentiments of tolerance before a frightened major religious group of innocents. Although the New York Times published a major article on June 24, 2008 titled "Muslim Voters Detect a Snub from Obama" (by Andrea Elliott), citing examples of your aversion to these Americans who come from all walks of life, who serve in the armed forces and who work to live the American dream. Three days earlier the International Herald Tribune published an article by Roger Cohen titled "Why Obama Should Visit a Mosque." None of these comments and reports change your political bigotry against Muslim-Americans-- even though your father was a Muslim from Kenya. Perhaps nothing illustrated your utter lack of political courage or even the mildest version of this trait than your surrendering to demands of the hard-liners to prohibit former president Jimmy Carter from speaking at the Democratic National Convention. This is a tradition for former presidents and one accorded in prime time to Bill Clinton this year. Here was a President who negotiated peace between Israel and Egypt, but his recent book pressing the dominant Israeli superpower to avoid Apartheid of the Palestinians and make peace was all that it took to sideline him. Instead of an important address to the nation by Jimmy Carter on this critical international problem, he was relegated to a stroll across the stage to "tumultuous applause," following a showing of a film about the Carter Center's post-Katrina work. Shame on you, Barack Obama! But then your shameful behavior has extended to many other areas of American life. (See the factual analysis by my running mate, Matt Gonzalez, on You have turned your back on the 100-million poor Americans composed of poor whites, African-Americans, and Latinos. You always mention helping the "middle class" but you omit, repeatedly, mention of the "poor" in America. Should you be elected President, it must be more than an unprecedented upward career move following a brilliantly unprincipled campaign that spoke "change" yet demonstrated actual obeisance to the concentration power of the "corporate supremacists." It must be about shifting the power from the few to the many. It must be a White House presided over by a black man who does not turn his back on the downtrodden here and abroad but challenges the forces of greed, dictatorial control of labor, consumers and taxpayers, and the militarization of foreign policy. It must be a White House that is transforming of American politics-- opening it up to the public funding of elections (through voluntary approaches)-- and allowing smaller candidates to have a chance to be heard on debates and in the fullness of their now restricted civil liberties. Call it a competitive democracy. Your presidential campaign again and again has demonstrated cowardly stands. "Hope" some say springs eternal." But not when "reality" consumes it daily. Sincerely, Ralph Nader November 3, 2008


McClatchy Washington Bureau Print This Article Print This Article Posted on Mon, Nov. 03, 2008 Commentary: They’ve squandered lives, fortunes and our sacred honor Joseph L. Galloway | McClatchy Newspapers last updated: November 03, 2008 10:33:44 AM Here’s to the American people, the electorate, for finally coming to their senses and voting for something different, for someone different and for a chance to fix the multitude of man-made disasters that confront us. By their votes, the Republican revolution and all it's wrought — an economic meltdown, two endless wars, class warfare that’s enriched the very rich and beggared everyone else and a treasury bulging only with IOU's — will be crushed. That revolution began to take root with the criminality of Richard Nixon's administration, with its paranoid enemies list. It gathered steam in the time of Ronald Reagan and with Newt Gingrich’s seizure of Congress. To be sure, there have been pauses, first during Jimmy Carter's four years and then during Bill Clinton’s eight, in the GOP's rush to recover — with interest — the presidential power that Nixon lost to a second-rate burglary and assorted other dirty tricks. High tide arrived with the unlikeliest occupant of the Oval Office in our history, the beady-eyed, smirking, tongue-tied, counterfeit cowboy George W. Bush, and a Congress that after 9-11 was run by runaway Republicans who were too busy enriching themselves and their friends to care what their president was doing to the country, the Constitution and even their own party. Little wonder, then, that Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin will go down to defeat after a campaign of sheer desperation that’s been nasty, brutish and long. Bush and his clutch of unindicted co-conspirators will leave Washington at high noon on January 20, 2009, two months and a few wakeups from now, and good riddance to bad rubbish. Oh, there will be more outrages as they leave. Bush and his gang are busy drafting and issuing Executive Orders and new regulations gutting the last surviving federal rules that bedevil their rich, polluting friends, and no doubt they're just as busy drawing up presidential pardons by the bucketful for themselves and their partners in crime. These Republicans arrived with a strange combination of contempt for government and hunger for its power, and during their time in the saddle they've done everything they could to destroy the government and the Constitution that our forefathers so carefully constructed to check and balance any self-anointed monarchs' ability to do evil or accumulate dangerous and excessive power. Where were we the people while this evil was being unleashed on us? Remember the fable of the grasshopper and the ant? We were, with the encouragement of our president, busy playing grasshopper. In the wake of the 9-11 attacks, our president urged us to go to the shopping mall. Go be grasshoppers. Consume everything, save nothing, live like there’s no tomorrow, like winter will never come. Guess what? Winter has arrived. In the name of national security, of homeland security, our right to privacy has been whittled away, legally and illegally. Big Brother has been listening, but only for our own good. With the arrogance common to those who are ignorant of both history and the world, these people threw away our standing in that world, declaring that everyone must either be with us or against us. We hardly noticed as the world paid attention to what we did, not what we said, and then quietly chose the latter option. In pursuit of our newfound civic duty as consumers, we hardly noticed that nearly everything we bought was marked "Made in China." Made in China and bought on credit, our credit and our country's. Made in China and made with lead paint and poisonous plastics that threatened the lives of our children and killed our dogs, substances that escaped notice until far too late because the rabid deregulators had pulled our watchdogs' teeth. They demanded unfettered capitalism, and in the hands of the Wall Street robber barons that was turned into pure evil, pure greed and pure folly. Now millions of Americans are losing their homes in the mortgage meltdown, and millions more have seen their life savings, their 401ks and IRAs, their hopes of a comfortable retirement, blow away like so many leaves on a cruel Texas norther. They played on our fears like a mighty Wurlitzer Organ, frightening us with lies into an unnecessary war in Iraq. Frightening us into re-electing George Bush, even after we knew that he was anything but presidential, anything but intelligent, anything but a worthy, effective leader. They frightened us so badly that we voluntarily surrendered the precious rights that a million American soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen and others bought for us with their lives during two centuries of freedom and democracy. They used fear to violate international law, to torture and imprison thousands of suspected enemies without charges or trials. They used fear and invoked national security to suspend the right of habeas corpus, the foundation of our freedoms. For these and far too many other sins and transgressions to list in so short a space as this, we the people have every right, and perhaps a duty, to cast them aside, and with them their only hope of avoiding justice and judgment — John McCain, who voted with them 90 percent of the time. We're right to toss them all aside, and to hope and pray that it's not too late to start repairing the damage they've done to a nation that once was the last, best hope of mankind.


Is Redistribution Really All That Bad? By Mike Whitney November 03, 2008 "Information Clearinghouse" -- Redistribution is never an issue when the money is flowing upwards. It's only when working people are poised to get a few scraps that all hell breaks loose. That's when self-styled "mavericks" and their political cadres spring into action and unleash their vitriol at anyone who challenges the failed "trickle-down" dogma of the investor class. When Barak Obama naively pointed out the need to "spread the wealth" the media descended on him like a pack of feral hounds. The gaffe was followed by weeks of derision and vicious attacks. McCain branded him a the "Redistributionist-in-Chief" while his rabid friends on wingnut radio invoked the musty specter of Karl Marx. What a load of malarkey. Neither McCain nor his media pals mention how the nation's wealth has already been "redistributed" via unfunded tax cuts for the rich, gluttonous $634 billion Pentagon budgets, or trillion dollar bailouts for Wall Street sharpies. That's why the national debt has skyrocketed to $11.3 trillion and the country is on the brink of default. It has nothing to do with the proposed extension of unemployment benefits for the victims of the financial crisis or the prospect of $300 billion in additional stimulus to revive the moribund economy. The Bush administration would never hand out stimulus checks unless it had a gun to its head. But, the fact is, their plan to shift the nation's wealth to the richest 1 percent of the population has been such a glorious success, that consumer spending has seen its sharpest decline in history. Demand has collapsed. And, even though the Federal Reserve has dropped the Fed Funds rate to 1 percent, has flooded the financial system with liquidity, (Federal Reserve Credit jumped $69.6bn to a record $1.873 TN, with a historic 7-wk increase of $985bn!) and is providing a backstop for money markets, commercial paper, insurance companies, investment banks, real estate, and dodgy mortgage-backed securities; consumers are continuing to lose ground because of falling home equity, exploding personal debt, and growing job losses. The Fed's liquidity-injections are not getting to the people who need it most--the workers-- so the economy is tanking. It's that simple.

Monday, November 3, 2008


"We are discreet sheep; we wait to see how the drove is going, and then go with the drove." -- Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910) = Apparently, a democracy is a place where numerous elections are held at great cost without issues and with interchangeable candidates. - Gore Vidal: = The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the party that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections. - Lord Acton = There are times in politics when you must be on the right side and lose. - John Kenneth Galbraith:


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Information Clearing House Newsletter News You Won't Find On CNN November 02, 2008 George Carlin On Voting In US Elections 4 Minute Video Warning - Some readers may find the contents offensive.


Citizen Gore Vidal Elections won’t reverse the decline of American democracy, the prolific literary legend says By David Barsamian Gore Vidal is one of the singular literary figures of this era. A scion of a political family, he grew up in a milieu of power and politics. Winner of the National Book Award in 1993 and the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1982, Vidal is the author of scores of plays, screenplays and historical novels, including Lincoln and Julian. He also has written a number of bestselling nonfiction books, including Dreaming War, Imperial America and Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace. The Washington Post calls him “the master essayist of our age.”


Monday, November 3, 2008 Pre-Election Angst for the Serfs by Jacob G. Hornberger It’s kinda fun watching Republicans and Democrats suffering so much angst over whether John McCain or Barack Obama will be elected president. Part of people’s anxiety, I suspect, is rooted in the realization that the candidate from the other party will have access to the trillions of dollars in tax loot to dispense to his buddies. But I think the reason for people’s agitation goes much deeper than that. For the past year, in their effort to garner favor from the electorate, the presidential candidates have had to be nice to people and curry favor with them in their quest to be elected. All sorts of promises have been made, which everyone knows are impossible to keep. No matter. The year before an election makes people feel like they’re in charge, given the subservience that the candidates pay to the citizenry. But everyone, including the candidates, knows that on November 4 everything changes. Everyone knows that on that day, the roles are reversed. The people who win the election are now in charge. They assume their role as masters, answerable only to themselves. The citizens assume their role as serfs, once again subservient to those in power and doing their best to curry favor with them. Think back to the slaves on the plantations in the Old South. Imagine that the law mandated that every four years there would be elections on the plantations in which the slaves would have the right to elect their taskmasters. In the months prior to the election, one can envision 3 or 4 taskmaster candidates vying for votes by being kind to the slaves and making all sorts of promises to them. In the months prior to the election, the slaves would feel a sense of empowerment. The process would provide a feeling of exhilaration for the slaves, as the candidates for taskmaster fought for their votes. But as election day drew near, anxiety levels would begin rising because everyone would know what would happen on that day. Whichever taskmaster would be elected would no longer need to be kind and subservient. Promises could be broken or forgotten, and there would be nothing the slaves could do about it. After all, the new taskmaster would be the taskmaster and the slave would be the slave. Given the omnipotent power that the president now wields, on Tuesday night either John McCain or Barack Obama will be America’s new taskmaster and Americans will continue to remain the serfs. People’s lives and fortunes will once again be unconditionally subject to the orders and decrees of the president, albeit a newly elected one. The fact that many people consider the president to be their “commander in chief,” viewing themselves as soldiers in an army or bees in a hive, only makes the situation worse. What modern-day Americans fail to realize is that the right to elect one’s master does not change the status of the serf. It simply gives him the right to elect his taskmaster. In fact, the only real value of democratic elections is that they provide the citizenry the means to effect regime change in society peacefully. In the absence of voting, the only way to effect regime change is through violence. But we must never confuse voting with freedom. Freedom is achieved through the imposition and enforcement of external constraints on the exercise of power. With such constraints, the citizenry are the masters and the government officials the servants, regardless of who is elected to office. Our 19th-century American ancestors did not suffer the pre-election anxieties that modern-day Americans suffer. Our ancestors knew that after Election Day, the president would continue to lack the power to tax their incomes, regulate their economic activities, provide them with welfare, conscript them, send them to die in foreign wars, force them to accept irredeemable paper money, confiscate their wealth through inflation, put them in jail for drug offenses, arbitrarily arrest them, indefinitely incarcerate them, spy on them, and torture and sexually abuse them. Today’s Americans know full well that after tomorrow, either John McCain or Barack Obama will wield all those powers over the American people. It’s not surprising that such knowledge is producing pre-election anxiety within the serfs. Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.


TODAY'S REPORTS: ISM Construction spending (Both at 10am Eastern) DID YOU ALL SET YOUR CLOCKS BACK ONE HOUR? My posts will all now represent PST (Pacific Standard Time), unless I forget and put PDST (Pacific Daylight Savings Time) out of habit. Gold has risen since its Sunday afternoon open at 3pm PST. It is now starting its pre-NY sell off having dropped from its morning high of 73950 almost 100% to the first previous low at 73160. Dollar is moving down from its recent highs and the Euro's rally from its recent low point retraced a good bit of it and has now rallied from that retracement, but is looking a bit weak to me. But as you all know things can change on a dime. Look for the markets to all be waiting for the outcome of the election Tuesday. Obama should sweep it and will rile many who will do something ridiculous. If McCain should manage to steal the election, the country may riot, having suppressed their anger at Bush for far too long. I'm voting for Ron Paul as a gesture and thing many more will too and not even worry that it might change the outcome of the two evils that are the finalists in the great Illuminati Fraud Election of 200_ (pick any year!) More as things progress.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Friday, October 31, 2008 Drug-War Violence Is Spreading to Texas by Jacob G. Hornberger According to the Associated Press, South Texans might soon be experiencing the same type of drug-war violence that people on the Mexican side of the border have been experiencing. As most everyone knows, the drug war has produced unbelievable violence in Mexico, especially along the border. Murder, kidnapping, beheading, and torture have become routine. Friends in my hometown of Laredo, Texas, tell me that they don’t dare cross the border into Nuevo Laredo anymore, for fear of being kidnapped or killed or caught in the crossfire of drug gangs fighting for turf. The Associated Press is reporting that the Mexican drug gangs are stockpiling weapons and recruiting gang members in preparation for violent confrontations with law enforcement on the South Texas side of the border. The equipment includes assault rifles, bulletproof vests, and even grenades. For their part, U.S. law enforcement agents are saying that they’re not about to be intimidated by the drug cartels. They’re getting ready for confrontation. The sheriff of Hidalgo County, Texas, recently issued his deputies high-powered rifles and authorized them to return fire. If the drug gangsters begin committing the same acts of violence against state and federal government officials on the U.S. side of the border that they’ve been committing on the Mexican side of the border, everyone should be prepared for the same types of bromides that are used to justify the war on terrorism. “The violence has nothing to do with drug prohibition.” “The drug dealers hate us for our freedom and values.” “We can’t surrender to the drug dealers.” “Mexico is the central front in the war on drugs.” “The Mexicans are a dangerous people.” “The Mexicans are trying to recapture lands that the U.S. government stole from them in the Mexican War.” “Don’t blame America for drug-war violence.” For years, drug warriors have argued that if only the government would finally crack down in the war on drugs, it would be “won.” Well, the Mexican government, including its military, has cracked down viciously in the war on drugs, and things have only gotten worse. And now it seems that the results of the drug-war crackdown in Mexico are about to spill over into South Texas. There is one and only one solution to all this. It’s the same solution that was used to get rid of the booze-related violence during Prohibition. Legalize, legalize, legalize. The legalization of drugs — the end of the drug war — would bring an immediate end to drug-war violence because it would put the drug gangs out of business immediately. That’s what the legalization of alcohol accomplished — the end of Prohibition-related violence. The problem is that ending the drug war would also mean that drug law-enforcement agents would no longer be needed, just as booze agents like Eliot Ness were no longer needed after Prohibition was ended. Perhaps that’s the reason that both drug gangs and drug law-enforcement agents are among the two foremost opponents of ending the war on drugs. Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.


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Electoral College Summary When Americans vote for a President and Vice President, they are actually voting for presidential electors, known collectively as the electoral college. It is these electors, chosen by the people, who elect the chief executive. The Constitution assigns each state a number of electors equal to the combined total of the state's Senate and House of Representatives delegations; at present, the number of electors per state ranges from three to 54, for a total of 538. Aside from Members of Congress, and persons holding offices of "Trust or Profit" under the Constitution, anyone may serve as an elector. In each presidential election year, a group of candidates for elector is nominated by political parties and other groupings in each state, usually at a state party convention, or by the party state committee. It is these elector-candidates, rather than the presidential and vice presidential nominees, for whom the people vote in the November election, which is held on Tuesday after the first Monday in November. In most states, voters cast a single vote for the slate of electors pledged to the party presidential and vice presidential candidates of their choice. The slate winning the most popular votes is elected; this is known as the winner-take-all, or general ticket, system. Electors assemble in their respective states on Monday after the second Wednesday in December. They are pledged and expected, but not required, to vote for the candidates they represent. Separate ballots are cast for President and Vice President, after which the electoral college ceases to exist for another four years. The electoral vote results are counted and certified by a joint session of Congress, held on January 6 of the year succeeding the election. A majority of electoral votes (currently 270 of 538) is required to win. If no candidate receives a majority, then the President is elected by the House of Representatives, and the Vice President is elected by the Senate, a process known as contingent election. GT sez: There's more:

Election Day on Tuesdays? Why the Tuesday after the first Monday in November?

GOOGLE: ELECTION DAY HISTORY for more info For much of our history, America was a predominantly agrarian society. Law makers therefore took into account that November was perhaps the most convenient month for farmers and rural workers to be able to travel to the polls. The fall harvest was over, (remember that spring was planting time and summer was taken up with working the fields and tending the crops) but in the majority of the nation the weather was still mild enough to permit travel over unimproved roads. Why Tuesday? Since most residents of rural America had to travel a significant distance to the county seat in order to vote, Monday was not considered reasonable since many people would need to begin travel on Sunday. This would, of course, have conflicted with Church services and Sunday worship. Why the first Tuesday after the first Monday? Lawmakers wanted to prevent election day from falling on the first of November for two reasons. First, November 1st is All Saints Day, a Holy Day of Obligation for Roman Catholics. Second, most merchants were in the habit of doing their books from the preceding month on the 1st. Apparently, Congress was worried that the economic success or failure of the previous month might prove an undue influence on the vote!


NEW YORK TIMES Reserve Fund’s Investors Still Await Their Cash By DIANA B. HENRIQUES Published: October 28, 2008 The national “bank holiday” that ushered in the New Deal in 1933 locked up the public’s cash for four days. The crisis that hit last month at the Reserve Fund, the nation’s oldest money market fund, has frozen hundreds of thousands of customer accounts for more than six weeks — with no sure end in sight.